Discovery of elephant bones prompts poaching probe

By May 4, 2021Anti-poaching

The above is a replica of elephant bones. Image: Flickr / Sadie Hart.

Staff Reporter, Bangkok Post | May 1, 2021

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Park authorities have launched an investigation into a wildlife poaching network in Kaeng Krachan National Park following the recent discovery of wild elephant bones and spent bullets by a forest patrol unit, according to local officials.

The remains were reportedly found by a joint patrol team from Kaeng Krachan National Park and troops near a small reservoir in the forest reserve in tambon Pateng, Kaeng Krachan district.

The unit suspected foul play when they spotted what looked like a bullet hole in a skull and asked the park authorities to send a team of specialists to examine it, officials said.

An investigation team led by the Phaya Sua Task Force reportedly examined the remains and scoured the site on Thursday using a metal detector.

The examination found that the carcasses belonged to two elephants which were determined to be no more than three years old and had died less than a year ago, officials said.

No bullets were found in the bones, they said.

The metal detector was used to locate bullets and pellets in the vicinity and three shells, apparently fired from a rifle and a shotgun, officials said.

They had reportedly been sent for examination by experts to determine the types of weapons used.

According to local officials, the patrol was part of park authorities’ efforts to stamp out wildlife poaching in Kaeng Krachan, especially of wild elephants whose population is believed to be about 160, much lower than the previous estimated of 450.